Archives for category: communications

drinkersTo build and scale great product startup founders need access to substantial funding.  However, building a funding round can take 6 months and this assumes that the startup is investment ready. On the other side of the table investors are sitting on a huge pile of decks and can’t see the wood for the trees. At later stage, this is not such a problem because the founders can afford to pay trusted third parties to get involved and make introductions and even take a strategic deal-making role. Their involvement cuts the process and brings investment ready startups to the attention of the most appropriate source of investment. At early stage it is difficult for third parties to undertake this role because the founders have no money to pay for such a hands-on approach. Platforms such as www.dreamstake.net bring down the cost of each fund-raising transaction and can therefore support the founder in a more efficient way.

Corporate Finance houses normally get involved in funding rounds at around about £1m -£2m or when founders have enough money to pay a substantial retainer. Although founders may find the retainer a deterrent it focuses the advisor on putting resource into the task of getting the startup funded. It is rare that any startup is 100% ready for funding and the role of the advisor is to work with the founder to refine the deck (and the proposition) to the point where it is ready. The next step is to match the startup with the most appropriate form of funding. VCs are invariably sector and stage oriented and therefore a ‘spray and pray’ approach to distributing decks rarely works.

The beauty of platforms, is that they radically bring down the cost to serve. Look at how Airbnb and Uber are transforming their sectors. They do this by building efficient markets where consumers are matchedwith providers at a fraction of the cost. We have brought the same principles to funding startups and use algorithms to sort the deal-flow and match with the most appropriate form of investor. We can therefore, engage with earlier stage startup founders on a performance fee only basis or later stage at a greatly reduced retainer cost.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

We have also recently launched an exclusive tech angel investment club in partnership with The Hoxton. HoxTech Angels will run invitation only angel investment evenings every month.

 

I used to naively believe that building a funding round was easy. You only have to develop a great idea, that addresses a large and growing market and investors will follow. Well it isn’t quite like that. In fact, even an awesome team with a great proposition will struggle to find funding for a tech startup. The competition for capital is incredibly strong and investors are naturally hedging their bets by spreading their investment across multiple opportunities. Many investors will not invest unless someone else takes the lead and there are not enough experienced tech investors to go around.  Here are a few pointers to make it simpler to build a round;

Make sure you are ready - There is little point in building your funding round until you are ready. Readiness depends greatly on the amount of funding you are looking for. However, at each stage it is important to have hit certain milestones. It is also crucial to be able to communicate your proposition clearly and demonstrate why it is attractive to investors. Generally, founders raise before they are ready. This extends the time taken to close and damages reputation.

Think strategically and tactically - Plan for a long and complicated process from the beginning. If you are raising a few hundred K from angels you will need to find multiple investors and orchestrate the whole process. It can be a bit like herding cats. You both need to be able to plan the process at a high level as well as acting tactically and decisively at each stage. Allow plenty of time in your schedule to undertake the process effectively.

Target appropriate Investors – Select investors that are interested in your market sector and invest at the stage you have reached. VCs will often state that they invest early, when they don’t. It can still be worth taking half a dozen VC meetings to ascertain what you need to do to be attractive in a years time. This will strengthen your pitch for the angel round. Don’t ask for investment at these meetings. You will look naive. Best ask for advice and listen to what they are looking for.

Find a lead investor early - The lead investor is usually the king-pin for every funding round. In the angel round they will provide the core to build around. It can sometimes be worth bringing in a lead as part of a small pre-seed round. They can help you shape the next round and make sure you are investment ready.

Expect the lead to take an active role - Once the seed round has been launched you will need the support of your lead investor. They can set the term sheet and rally their friends to help fill the round. They can also reassure non-savvy investors that the round is worth joining.

find other investors - Once you have a strong lead investor you will need to spread the net more widely. It is important to learn the difference between real investors and tire kickers. Check linked-in carefully and bluntly ask about their capacity to invest.

Find ways to close the round effectively - It is good to set deadlines and create momentum leading up to them. There needs to be an end point. Ask the lead to help bring the other investors into line and deal with formalities such as term sheets and other legal requirements. Appoint a good lawyer who understands the size of deal you are trying to close.

Think imaginatively - We are seeing more rounds that include angels, micro-VCs, VCs and even crowdfunding. It can even be possible to build rounds with UK lead investors and back filled by US or other overseas investors. In almost every case they demand a good lead.

More mature companies can afford to pay the fees of corporate finance experts to help build rounds and do the necessary deal-making. However, Startups cannot entertain the upfront fees they charge to do this. Platforms such as Dreamstake are making it more cost effective to use a third party to support the process by back-loading the costs and linking them to performance.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

We have also recently launched an exclusive tech angel investment club in partnership with The Hoxton. HoxTech Angels will run invitation only angel investment evenings every month.

 

Black-woman-on-twitter-1000x666_0Apologies for the attention grabbing headline.  Dreamstake has just been selected to run a ‘Solve for X’ programme by Google, the objective of which is to solve a significant world problem. So no pressure there then! As I am not an economist I am going to need a lot of help from a whole bunch of experts. However, I have been involved in the startup world for 5 years and feel that I have at least earned the right to ask a few questions.

Firstly, my hypothesis is that the startup culture will have a major positive impact on the poorest communities in the world. Or put another way, I believe the culture can spread wealth far more evenly than ever before. However, the devil is in the detail and it would be useful to debate some current assumptions;

Are startups good? – Tech startups currently rule the world. Millenniums and many others no longer dream of a corporate career. Many want to take their lives into their own hands and aspire to change the world. It is widely recognised that corporations find it hard to innovate and much of the action is taking place in much more agile startup teams. However, with power comes responsibility and many startups sail close to the line of social acceptability.

The so-called ‘Sharing Economy’ is a point in case. Startups such as Uber and Airbnb have ruthlessly pursued market share in winner-takes-all industry sectors. Not much sharing there then. There is a conflict between the need of these startups to grow and the messaging to their consumer base that is much more idealistic in their objectives. Is it unhealthy that these companies are able to build such large war-chests to fight off challenges by others? Don’t these startups need to grow responsibly or risk losing the support of their own users?

I feel overwhelmingly positive about startup culture. However, it is not a license to act irresponsibly or a backdoor to outright capitalism without any checks and balances. If founders (and investors) do not recognise this they will undermine the whole startup movement.

Is the Silicon Valley model good? – Silicon Valley is the engine driving the startup economy. Not only has huge proportion of startup economic growth come out of Silicon Valley but many of the technologies and processes have been developed there. There is little doubt that the guiding principles of The Valley are positive. Success has been underpinned by principle that founders are given access to a pool of awesome talent, knowledgable support and almost unlimited capital.

However, The Silicon Valley model has resulted in group-think that ignores the huge limitations in the model for the rest of the world. The idea that resources have to be concentrated in clusters has a negative economic impact on much of society and is illogical in the age of the internet. Is it now possible for a bright entrepreneur in Lagos, armed with a copy of The Lean Startup to access many of the resources he needs to build a great business?

I would argue that internet based platforms will change the world of entrepreneurship (slightly biased as I run such a platform), in just the same way as they are changing so many other sectors.  The objective has to be to provide great founders, wherever they are, with the capital and support they need to build great businesses.

Can we spread the love? – For the first time in modern history we have the ability to spread out an economic system to a broad base of the population across all continents. The internet gives access to resources to the poorest communities across the globe. Startup culture has been packaged in a way that it can now be taught to entrepreneurs. The cost of technology has come down to a point where it is accessible to many.

We are already seeing how certain African nations have been able to leap-frog traditional western economies in fields such as mobile payments. The ubiquity of the smartphone has enabled these nations to jump technologies and offers the possibility of major innovation in areas such as banking.

I would conclude that we are on the verge of a startup revolution where Silicon Valley will either loosen it’s grip on the overall global scene or will respond by being less myopic in it’s approach. VCs need to lose the idea that they can only invest in startups on their own door-step and provide greater support to ventures outside traditional clusters. Platforms will allow entrepreneurs to access resources wherever they are and this will create something approaching a true meritocracy.

We are approaching the most interesting phase of the internet where it’s influence will be felt on a much broader scale. We need to build a global eco-system, joining the dots between the current clusters and the rest of the world.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

We have also recently launched an exclusive tech angel investment club in partnership with The Hoxton. HoxTech Angels will run invitation only angel investment evenings every month.

 

There is an old saying that the VC’s in Silicon Valley will only invest in companies less than an hours drive from their office. This highlights the personal nature of the startup investment world. Investors want to be very hands-on with their portfolio companies. This is a model that has been replicated all over the globe. However, the internet is transforming every industry and it is slightly ironic that the investment community has been slow to embrace the technology they invest in. Platforms are starting to have a profound effect as they dis-intermediate some of the current players.

Venture Capital funds are under pressure from investors due to their high management fees and lack of accountability. Investors in VC funds are only in a position to judge performance after an extended period of up to 10 years. Such funds are becoming more vulnerable to competition. VCs are increasingly moving later stage with each new fund they raise. As funds grow larger, their managing partners gravitate towards making a smaller number of investments. This allows them to deploy their resources more efficiently over a a manageable number of portfolio companies. This is opening up a gap below Series A which will increasingly be filled by platforms.

At the lower end of the scale, Crowd-funding platforms are already having a major impact. In some countries such as the UK this is combined with strong government incentives for smart angels to invest on an individual basis. This provides an alternative to the friends and family round. At slightly later seed rounds, professional funding platforms such as Dreamstake are nibbling at the VC space by facilitating syndication. This is already transforming the industry, with Angellist raising over $100 million for startups on their platform in the last year.

Naval Ravikant, the founder of Angellist is not going to stop at simply syndicating angels. He has his eyes on the larger institutional investors that cannot currently invest in early stage startups because the transaction costs are too high. However, platforms can effectively manage portfolios on behalf of these global giants.

Platforms have the potential to reduce transaction costs and bring efficiencies into the market. They allow startups to attract individual investors directly into online deal-rooms with standard term sheets. This simplifies the investment process and avoids heavy management fees.

To summarise, VC funds face competition from individual angels investing in syndicates on platforms and from larger institutional investors who will use the same platforms to reduce transaction fees and make investing in high growth opportunities more accessible to them.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

We have also recently launched an exclusive tech angel investment club in partnership with The Hoxton. HoxTech Angels will run invitation only angel investment evenings every last Monday of the month.

I have met over 500 startup teams over the past year and it strikes me how important the personality of the founder is to the success of a tech startup. There is a strong link between the quality of the founder and their ability to attract other team members and to ultimately attract investment from angels or VCs. Founders come in many forms. Some are geeky techies, others are business people with amazing ideas. However, there are a number of key characteristics that I would highlight as essential to the ultimate success of the startup;

Passion – All great founders have a vision and a passion to fulfill it. Let’s face it, if you don’t believe in your idea, you can be sure that no one else will. Passion will normally come from the fact that you are solving a real problem that other people also face. Passion is infectious and will drive the business ahead through the difficult times that you will definitely face on occasions.

Hard working – I was recently told by a VC that they notice the times when their entrepreneurs are working. Brent Hoberman, founder of Lastminute.com would send emails at all times night and day. There is no getting around it. Founding a startup is not a 9-5 job and there is no such thing as work/life balance. There is a direct relationship between the level of work put in and the results achieved.

Attention to detail – The devil is in the detail. Successful founders have a eye for detail. It doesn’t matter whether it is the quality of the branding or the integrity of their code, good founders will always be striving for improvement. They will not accept second best and can be very demanding.

Willing to take risks – Founding a startup is a risky business. It normally involves giving up full-time employment and devoting 100% of your work-life to the new venture. If you have secured funding you will be facing a burn-rate and have a team to retain. There will be times when the situation looks totally bleak. Founders need to be prepared from the outset, to risk everything. It rarely works to mitigate risk by having one foot in a day-job and the other in a startup. Failing fast is an integral part of the startup process. Founders often have to be prepared to let go of their initial ideas, brush themselves off and start again.

Rational – Creating a startup is not simply about having a good idea. It is about following a series of logical steps. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is the best guide to follow. A good founder will recognize how important it is to test that there is an appetite for their solution at each stage. Does it solve a real problem and will people pay to use it.

Open-minded to advice -Probably the number one issue. Defensiveness is a massive turn-off for investors. Founders will receive helpful feedback from investors, mentors or team members. This feedback is not designed to test your ability to handle objections. It is meant to test your openness to suggestion. Take this advice and decide whether it is valid or not. Be careful not to under-estimate the person giving feedback.

Strong-minded – The other side of the coin is that founders should not change direction with every last piece of advice they receive. They should be able to take advice from a range of sources and decide which to take on board. The buck stops with them.

Realistic – A lot of founders fail by over-valuing their own value and under-valuing others. It’s important to understand that your idea has little value. The value comes from your ability to engage with others to execute. The value of co-founders has to be recognized and rewarded accordingly.

Flexible – It is vital to respond to change. You may be facing competition or a new market conditions. You may have tested your product and hit a brick wall. It has been proven that startup founders who have pivoted a few times are more successful than those refusing to change.

If you are thinking about embarking on the journey to become a tech entrepreneur I would recommend checking that you are able to develop these characteristics. Launching a tech business can be amazingly rewarding but it is not for the faint-hearted.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

We have also recently launched an exclusive tech angel investment club in partnership with The Hoxton. HoxTech Angels will run invitation only angel investment evenings every last Monday of the month.

 

 

 

In a recent blog I mentioned the growing funding gap for tech startups in London.  This lies somewhere between the SEIS tax break level of £150K and the point where VCs get interested in investing at nearly £1M. Between these two points it is becoming more difficult to attract investment.

VCs are unwilling to engage at seed level unless there is clear evidence of traction (usually revenue streams). Therefore, angels are the only source of funding for many entrpreneurs. However, there is a limit to the amount an angel will invest in a single startup. They are building diversified portfolios to reduce their exposure to the risk of failures. This results in a larger number of small investments in as many startups as they can keep an eye on. In fact, research has suggested that an ideal portfolio of tech startups would comprise as many as 25 companies over a lifetime of investing. In the UK this has driven the average individual investment down from approximately £100K to around £50K.  This clearly suggests that a founder looking for £500K would have to find 10 angels.

So how do you build a flock of angels?;

Use a platform – A platform such as Dreamstake takes some of the work out of identifying angels. By building a database, checking credentials and helping to understand their needs, a platform can save time and effort. The platform can provide the data needed to match startups with specific angels.

Find a lead angel - Not all angels want to lead a round. Many are happy to fall in behind someone that they trust. It is a good plan to identify a smart investor with either sector or functional experience to bring to the party. This individual will attract other potential angels as well as adding value by bringing contacts and expertise.

Attract other smart angels – There is no reason to stop with one smart angel. Make a list of people who would add most value to your business. This could be individuals who have made money by selling businesses in a relevant sector.

Be proactive in deal-making – Once you have a lead angel or a core of angels, be proactive about finding others. This is basically a sales process. Be very organised about it. Plan who to approach and how to go about it. Ask others for introductions.

Makes sure they are real angels – Unfortunately, there are too many people out there pretending to be investors. They probably want to sell you consultancy. Check their credentials on linkedin and challenge them right form the start. Ask them how much they invest and how often.

Do not ask for too much – Clearly the more you ask for at this round the bigger the flock of angels you need to gather. Plan your funding rounds to avoid the gap as far as possible. It may be more realistic to stay close to the £150K mark and use this amount to robustly prove the business model before moving to VC level.

The good news is that there is more money available for UK based startups than ever before. It is just a case of planning carefully to avoid the gap and accepting that syndication may be the only answer at certain levels.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Join here Dreamstake.

mind the gapInvestors and founders often talk about a Series A funding gap.  However, in the UK, this has shifted downwards and it is relatively easy to explain why. First of all how do we know what is happening?  Dreamstake have 1,000 tech startups on www.dreamstake.net. We put up to 15 per month through our Google Campus Demo Days and are introducing up to 20 per month to angels and investors at every level of funding, from £20K – £5M. We are getting a lot of data from the market.

So what’s happening? There has been a great deal of stimulus below the £150K level.  The Government SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) has moved angels to invest earlier and in smaller amounts to diversify risk over a broader portfolio. The legalization of equity based Crowdfunding through platforms such as crowdcube and Seedrs has brought new sources of capital at approximately the same funding level. Finally, the proliferation of accelerators also addresses the need for very early stage capital.

The VCs are always under pressure to invest to move their average ticket size upwards. This is because it is easier to manage a smaller number of portfolio companies than spread the fund over too many. There is a small amount of pressure for some of the larger VCs to look at earlier stage investments. This could be a response to crowdfunding which may cherry-pick some of the VCs deal-flow before they get at it. However, in general, even early stage VCs are only investing above £5ooK, often with a sweet-spot of approximately £1M.

So to the gap! The Government has effectively created a gap between £150K and £500K by encouraging angel investment at an earlier stage. The most promising funding solution for founders who find themselves in the gap territory is syndication. This can be fulfilled by either encouraging multiple angels to invest together or by a combination of micro-VCs and angels working together.

In summary, founders will currently find it difficult to get funding between £150K and £500K without a mechanism for bringing together multiple sources of investment. A platform is the ideal way to facilitate this.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Join here Dreamstake.

The word startup not always has been associated with high growth potential, low capital intensive tech businesses, mainly internet based. The phenomenon started and took root in Silicon Valley which is still the centre. The Silicon Valley model brought together ideas, capital and human resources in a tight cluster that generated the high growth tech companies which we are now all familiar with. Is this about to change?

- Everyone can become an internet founder - The process is well documented by Eric Ries in The Lean Startup and the methodology is being taught across the globe. The cost of technology has come right down and the global market for apps is now well established.

- Other clusters are starting to boom - It’s taken quite a long time for the rest of the world to recognize the formula for creating successful startups but it is finally happening. New York, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv all have thriving tech scenes and there are many other developing clusters.

- Silicon Valley is losing its grip - It has become expensive to develop a startup in The Valley.  Engineers are scarce due to immigration policies and this makes them expensive to hire. Other clusters are doing more to encourage startups with generous tax breaks, access to lower cost resources and other benefits.

- Globalization beyond the cluster - The cluster is a short-term phenomenon needed to pump-prime the early stages of any technology. As the technology becomes more available activity spreads more evenly across the globe. This will be particularly true in the case of internet startups. The demand side is shifting rapidly to the developing world. We have recently seen the success of Ali Baba and products such as peer-to-peer lending on mobile phones are having a greater impact outside the US. This will see a boom in local startup activity closer to the consumer and utilising lower cost resources for development.

- The Internet is disrupting the startup world – Ironically, it is the internet itself that will ultimately reduce the influence of Silicon Valley. For all its innovation, The Valley eco-system has been based on personal and localized networking. The VCs have been particularly parochial in their viewpoint, often investing only in companies within driving distance. This has starved much of the startup world of capital. The internet is opening up new sources of capital through crowd-funding and platforms such as Dreamstake and Angellist. Such platforms are connecting entrepreneurs with the other resources they need to build their startup businesses.

In summary, the internet is becoming ubiquitous and the ability to create internet startups is spreading out from the traditional clusters.  There is now little reason why a founder in Nigeria, can’t develop an app serving consumers in Africa, using capital from Europe. This is the real start of the internet revolution.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Join here Dreamstake.

This is not another blog about presentation skills. It’s not about style over substance. It’s about how to convince an angel or VC that you are the team to back. Most investment is a result of one-to-one meetings in investors offices. So the ability to stand up and present is not the point. However, it is important to concisely cover all the main points and come across really sharp;

- The problem – Say clearly and concisely what problem you have chosen to solve and give evidence that others consider it a problem worth solving.

- The solution – State how you intend to solve the problem and why people will switch from their current solution.

- The market – Give an estimate of the total addressable market, predicted growth rate and the portion that you can realistically win.

- The business model – Be clear about the business model that you are going to test and how you will define success.

- The Execution plan - Describe the major project milestones.

- The team – Be concise about the team members and advisors. Even if you are still in the process of building a solid full-time team don’t make it look like it’s a loose collection of random people. Make sure you bring out why your team has specific advantages in executing the project.

- The competition – Don’t say that there isn’t any competition. It suggests that there isn’t a problem worth solving. Mention substitutes as well as existing solutions.

- The financials – Give a clear summary of the major components. Don’t obsess with the details but be ready to justify any figures that you give.

- The funding requirement – Give exact figures (not a range) and link to clear milestones (like proving Product/Market fit). Say how much equity you expect to give in return.

Keep the presentation down to 10 minutes and allow plenty of time for questions and answers. Don’t be woolly or over complicate.  If you are finding it difficult to convey the story in a concise manner it is probably because you haven’t nailed the proposition and you shouldn’t be pitching yet.

Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake  the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Join here Dreamstake.

 

Video is a great way to showcase a product or service and to create a visually stimulating overview of the benefits your startup is trying to sell. We are all used to video based content being a linear experience focusing on presentation rather than personalisation. I’m a filmmaker by trade and interested in the versatility of moving images. 

With increasing popularity of a new involvement driven film genre known through the work of Digital Media Company Interlude, producers are looking for new ways of curating content. This has opened exciting opportunities for customer engagement and introduces consumers to ‘A New World of Storytelling’, as phrased on the Interlude home gage.

Dive into the world of interactive storytelling by switching between a shopping TV presenter and a random guy on the bus signing Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ http://video.bobdylan.com/ or choose your favourite L’Oreal hair style http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/Beauty-Library/Tools/Choose-Your-Style.aspx

Keep it Brief, Clear and Relevant 

Video is clearly moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach. So, why force a potential customer to watch a 3 to 5 minute video about your company’s entire product range? I presume that you would gain more user insight by knowing what product or service your customers are most interested? 

A New ‘Pirate Metrics’ to Measure the Success of your Products

I’m the founder of two startups, which both explore innovation around video production and delivery. My latest business idea is a video-authoring environment that enables to easily create interactive, user driven product videos with embedded analytics. Based on the assumption that businesses do not just want to find out how many people have watched their website video, we propose a meaningful metrics around video for measuring user engagement.

Our aim as business owners is to deepen the relationship with our customers and to make sure they return. The answer is easy! Interactive video provides opportunities for social media referrals and can encourage instant reaction. Rather than separating the action from the context, the call to react could be embedded in the story by asking the viewer to buy an item now, to watch a scene that provides more information or to view a related product. 

Storytelling Marketing and Context Based E-commerce

This introduces a new way of visual storytelling marketing and context-based e-commerce. Why not ask your customers to vote for their favourite colour or version of your product? Why not test a new product line through a video story? Or ask your users to send videos of themselves using your product? An interactive authoring tool would enable you to easily use crowd-sourced footage to provide another viewpoint, which audiences could switch to. 

Help us now to get a better understanding of how startups use product videos by completing our brief survey and get the opportunity to win a free interactive pilot video.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PHN6MSN. We will select 3 participants, for which we will produce a short interactive product video. 

 

Post by Melanie Moeller – Founder of Sophrosyne Productions and Digital Media, a startup that develops cutting edge solutions that combine film and technology to create new media formats. [email protected]

Besides her background in media production, Melanie also has experience working in software development (BBC News and BBC IPLayer) and has been involved with teaching and training for more than 6 years. She regularly runs workshops, facilitates creative sessions and gives guest lectures at universities in the UK and abroad.